Exterior view of Reindeer Antiques.

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Originally, Kensington Church Street was created as a lane to join two Roman roads (from Bath and Oxford) to the City of London.

Today, it’s a road that hosts over 40 antiques dealers and galleries that attract international visitors and collectors to its shops and pretty side streets.

Many of the world’s leading experts in their respective fields have chosen the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea as their base. Most dealers on Kensington Church Street are members of the two main British trade bodies. As a result, the street has the highest concentration of BADA members of any area in the country.

As commerce and culture adapt to a post-Covid world, tangible experiences are increasingly pitched as premium options. Even digital advocates are conceding that real life retail experiences aren’t just preferable to smartphone scrolling, but possibly better for the spirit.

With that in mind, Kensington Church Street delivers a winning formula of widespread accreditation, the comforts of British tradition and the social whirl of uncharted browsing.

Imperative presence

Patrick Sandberg Antiques has been established in Kensington Church Street since the late 1980s. They specialise in 18th century English furniture, from George III to the Regency era. They are also known for bronze and ormolu objects, and antique candlestick lamps. They are one of the largest shops in Kensington Church Street and hold one of the biggest stocks of 18th century decorative arts in London.

Shops like Patrick Sandberg's are key for established collectors and beginners alike. Patrick says:

"It is better to view any piece in situ here at the shop, as it is totally impossible to judge anything from the company website.  We are here to serve and advise clients, our integrity on English furniture is happily shared with any enthusiastic collector and a relationship built on trust is not something you can gain from merely being ‘online’. A physical presence is imperative in this business and that is why we are here in a shop like ours, in Kensington Church Street."



Michael Denton of Denton Antiques.

Michael Denton of Denton Antiques (156 Kensington Church Street) sums up the benefits when he says: “Looking for an afternoon of wonder, discovery and inspiration? Then come and wander down the street and plan your next renovation or purchase a piece of history.”

James Kaye, Director of Butchoff (154 Kensington Church Street) is also a champion of the traditional retail experience.

"There’s something very fulfilling about being able to see a tangible object in person, and something very difficult about understanding the true size, scale, and the quality of a piece of furniture when seeing it online. It is also much easier to be able to explain the history and uniqueness of a piece face to face, and clients are able to see comparable pieces in the showroom at the same time."

Pondering the range of venues on Kensington Church Street, visitors can take their pick from a broad selection of period objects from traditional English furniture, clocks and porcelain to 19th century grandeur and decorative arts from the Aesthetic movement to modernism.

Make a stand for shops

James Kaye of Butchoff feels that visiting a gallery or store in person is vastly preferable to the potential pitfalls of digital browsing.

"As furniture dealers, the advantage is being able to see the scale of the piece, and how it sits in a room compared with the pieces around it.  Whilst we do our best to take professional photos of every piece we put online, the quality of the colour, patination and finish can never be truly experienced online.  We have many conversations with clients who have purchased online telling us how much better the piece is in person, which is great to hear. Our showroom is over 3000 square ft, set on 3 floors, so we can offer much greater variety than at any fair."

Butchoff For Web

Interior of Butchoff (154 Kensington Church Street).

Established by Laurence Paul in 1998, Fleurdelys Antiquités (150- 152 Kensington Church Street) is a prime example of a local business which deals in a seemingly niche, but fascinating field. The shop can be found in the Patrick Sandberg Gallery.

“Chinese wood stands are my speciality. They are so rare and tactile”, says Paul. “For 25 years, my main interest has been Chinese antiques, wood stands and works of art. The art of display is very important in Chinese art. I’m also fascinated by Chinese scholars’ objects, such as brush pots, inkstones and bamboo wrist rests.”

In a climate where many dealers are fleeing London’s rising rents, opting to retire or moving exclusively online, Kensington Church Street remains one of the few neighbourhoods that retains a unique character and a richly textured opportunity to peruse and buy.

James Kaye of Butchoff explains why their current location proved so attractive to the business and continues to be a winner.

"We decided to move to Kensington Church Street from Westbourne Grove in 2002, after more than 15 years in Westbourne Grove. It has always been one of the most important streets in London for antique dealers, with fantastic specialists across all different disciplines, and we felt this was the best location to help grow our business."

Physical attraction

Peter Alexander of Reindeer Antiques (81 Kensington Church Street) sells English furniture from the Jacobean to Georgian periods, but that’s not all. Customers can also enjoy the company of his canine curators.

“I try to create a sense of atmosphere and show that antiques have a place in the modern home, with help from my trusty border terriers.”

The puppyish charms of Herbie and Holly are best appreciated instore, rather than online, but while visiting the showroom, clients can also, “see if a chair is comfortable or the drawers are deep enough”.

Paul agrees that a physical presence is crucial to her business.

“A shop allows customers to view and touch an item and fairs are short term. When buying online, there’s the disadvantage of being unable to handle a piece. Potentially, they can be disappointed when they receive it. I have a website, but it’s mainly clients who met me through my gallery who will use it, as they already trust my knowledge and experience.”

Family values


A view inside the Denton Antiques shop.

Denton Antiques is a fourth generation family operation. Such tradition is a rare find in 2024 and inherited wisdom is yet another quirky attraction of the district.

“Our family business was established in Kensington Church Street over 120 years ago”, says Michael Denton.

“We have been living and working here ever since. It’s a street well known for its variety of traditional antiques specialists, who often complement each other.”

Denton’s store specialises in antique lighting in a range of sizes and styles, dating from 1750-1930. In addition to chandeliers, the collection includes lanterns, sconces, table-top candelabra, glassware and objets d’art.


Four-branch rock crystal French ‘cage’ design chandelier, the gilded bronze frame dressed with rock crystal pendants and bearing centre spire ornament and ‘apple’ finial, dating to c.1830 and restored. The chandelier, 2ft 2in (66cm) high x 21in (53.5cm) wide, is priced £32,200 by Denton Antiques.

As the business has outlived wars, recessions and dramatic cultural shifts, Michael Denton is able to offer consistency in a rapidly evolving world. “Transcending short-lived fads and trends, antique chandeliers form the focal point of any designer home”, he says.

“In our showrooms we demonstrate how they can be both functional and beautiful.”